Arusha, May 20, 2011(FH) - Imposition of 30 years imprisonment sentence to former Chief of Staff of the Rwandan army, General Augustin Bizimungu, and the request for arrest warrants against Muammar Gaddafi and his two close relatives, are two major events reported by Hirondelle News agency this week.

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The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), Tuesday convicted Bizimungu and ex- Chief of Staff of Rwandan Gendarmerie, General Augustin Ndindiliyimana of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, but ordered the immediate release of the latter having being sentenced to the time he spent in detention since 2000.

Whereas ex-Commander of the Reconnaissance Battalion, Major Francois-Xavier Nzuwonemeye and Captain Innocent Sagahutu, a member of the unity, who were jointly charged with the two generals were jailed 20 years each after being convicted of crime against humanity and war crimes.

Bizimungu and Ndindiliyimana were found criminally responsible for crimes perpetrated by soldiers and gendarmes under their command in 1994. Bizimungu was additionally held accountable for making a speech in Mukongo Commune, calling for start of killing of Tutsis in Ruhengeri prefecture.

While Nzuwonemeye and Sagahutu ordered the killing of Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana and they failed to punish perpetrators involved in killing 10 Belgian UN peacekeepers, on April 7, 1994.

Before the Tribunal, there was continuation of defence case of another former Rwandan military officer, Captain Idelphonse Nizeyimana, who is charged with genocide, extermination, murder and rape and seven witnesses testified in his favour. The trial continues on Monday.

While in Kigali, Rwanda's Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama, announced that the Gacaca Courts tasked with trying perpetrators of the 1994 Rwandan genocide will be officially closed in December 2011. He said a final report would be completed by December and the chapter of Gacaca would be officially declared closed.

In The Hague, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Luis Moreno Ocampo, on Monday requested the judges to issue arrest warrants against Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif Al-Islam and his brother-in-law Abdullah Al-Senoussi, accusing them of crimes against humanity.

The Libyan leader, according to the prosecutor, personally ordered attacks on unarmed civilian citizens, while his son and Al-Senoussi, the head of the country's intelligence service, were also involved in the crimes.

Another event covered includes the decision by Colombia to sign with the ICC an agreement for enforcement of sentences. The Latin American country joins six other countries, who have so far signed such agreement with the Court. They are Austria, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark, Finland and Serbia.


© Hirondelle News Agency